Google’s License in China Renewed
Google’s hope for a continued presence in China was realized today when the country renewed the search giant's license to operate in the nation.
"We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP (Internet Content Provider) license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China," wrote David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer on Google’s Official Blog.
Since Google’s January announcement that it was no longer willing to censor results on Google.cn, Google’s future in China was uncertain. In March, Google began redirecting all Chinese users to its Hong Kong search engine that offered unfiltered results in simplified Chinese, a tactic Chinese government officials found "unacceptable."
Drummond said that in the next few days all Chinese users will find themselves on a new Google.cn landing page, ending redirects to Google's Hong Kong site.
Though Google will not self-censor its China site, that does not mean the Chinese people will be able to freely search the Web and use other Google.cn services like music and text translate, which were previously blocked, but accessible through the Hong Kong site.
Google posted its Mainland China service availability daily that offers a detailed look at the status of Google services and major Web sites. For instance, Web search was partially blocked yesterday, but today is fully or mostly accessible. A month ago, Google’s Web Search Suggest, its dropdown list of related search terms that is displayed as soon as a user begins typing in the search box, was blocked and remains blocked today. YouTube , Blogger and Picasa remain blocked as well as Google Sites, an online Web page creator .
Google notes its assessment does not include small-scale blocking that frequently occurs in a specific geographic area or against certain keywords.
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